Arsenal fans reject Szczesny FA Cup claims in favour of Lukasz Fabianski


Lukasz Fabianski was the FA Cup hero of Arsenal's semi-final, but now Wojciech Szczesny wants to muscle in on the glory.

The trend of playing second choice goalkeepers in FA Cup competitions paid off for Arsenal in their semi-final against Wigan, with penalty expert Lukasz Fabianski coming up trumps in the Wembley shootout with Wigan.

The soon-to-be out of contract star has been a regular throughout Arsenal's run to the final, but now first choice Wojciech Szczesny wishes to muscle in on the glory.

He said this week: "I would love to play but it's the manager's decision," before adding, "I think Lukasz has done really well and he deserves a lot of credit. I'm an Arsenal fan and I just want us to get the trophy."

You can't blame Szczesny, yet to win a medal in his young career, who knows when the next chance to play at Wembley will come around? Not long he would hope, but who would have predicted the club's nine year trophy drought?

It would be incredibly harsh on Fabianski however, but football and Arsene Wenger do not always do sentiment.

In 2002, having played Richard Wright in every round to get to the final, Wenger replaced him with David Seaman and Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-0.

And that's really how it should be, play your strongest side to give yourselves the best chance of winning the trophy. But the same logic applies to semi-finals, and every previous round.

This season Manchester City did stick with Costel Pantilimon in their League Cup Final win over Sunderland, keeping Joe Hart on the bench. While this week in the Copa del Rey Final, Real Madrid stuck with cup goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who remains second choice to Diego Lopez in La Liga matches.

This sort of loyalty, Arsenal fans apparently desire to see rewarded when it comes to Fabianski.

A poll on the official club website asks supporters which pairing they would most like to see, when it comes to their goalkeepers and strikers.

The options were Fabianski and Giroud, Szczesny and Giroud, Fabianski and Sanogo, and Szczesny and Sanogo.

And the options featuring Fabianski were clear winners. At time of writing, the Fabianski and Giroud led with 59 per cent, followed by Fabianski and Sanogo with 29 per cent.

This would indicate the equivalent of nine out of every 10 Arsenal fans are in favour of Fabianski starting the cup final against Hull City.

The Szczesny and Giroud combination amassed just 9 per cent of the vote, and Szczesny and Sanogo 2 per cent.

Szczesny clearly wants to improve on his last game at Wembley, featuring the 2011 gaffe which saw them lose to Birmingham City in the League Cup Final.

However if he comes in, arguably unfairly, to replace Fabianski and commits another serious match costing error, it may be a scenario he does not recover from.

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